We’re all in place to watch the final presidential debate. This one was centered around foreign policy. The one area the president has direct control over is foreign policy. The one area that the American public could generally care less about is foreign policy. On the CNN pre game show they asked some florida voters what they’re looking for and most of them mentioned economic issues. They were shocked to learn the wouldn’t be any discussion of domestic issues. To be fair both candidates were also shocked that they wouldn’t being discussing domestic issues because they repeatedly brought them up.
Bob Schiffer kicked off the debate with a rambling question. I’m not sure there was an actual question in there. Neither did Obama and Romney. After their initial shock, they dove in with rambling answers to match the rambling question. It was one of those nights.
At the start of the debate everything about both candidates seemed dialed back. Especially Willard Mitt. Though Obama seized every opportunity to point out Mitt’s multitude of flip flops. Mr. President, I’m not sure we have time to go through all Willard’s undulations.
About half way through things got testy again. These two don’t like each other. Willard Mitt made some good points but gave Obama an opening to give a powerful answer about what he plans to do in his second term. That might have been Obama’s best moment in these debates. He actually gave a somewhat detailed description of what he plans to do. Wonders never cease.
Mitt’s strategy seemed to be rewording everything the president said. When he had to answer questions first he struggled and gave rambling, meandering answers. When he answered after Obama his answers were great. Life is easier when you have a template. Appearently Mitt’s word of the day was tumult becase he said that word at least 500 times.
Mitt snuck some of his five point plan. It’s as vague as ever. I’m not sure how that it fits into a foreign policy debate. But Willad Mitt gave it the college try. He’s going to fit that five point plan in whenever he can. I’m still waiting for somebody to question the plan.
Obama had the facts on his side last night. Being president gives a candidate specific advantages and Obama worked all those advantages to the fullest. He was pretty specific and laid out a real case for himself. Though I question whether defense decisions are truly driven by what’s best for the country. A lot of military spending is focused on pork barrell projects intended to buy votes and protect congressional districts. Is it me or does Obama find a way to mention Ohio in every debate?
On the other hand, Mitt has been disappointing tonight. He looked really uncomfortable and tense. He clearly didn’t trust himself on those issues and sought to turn the debate to domestic economic issues whenever possible. Halfway through Willard Mitt started to look really sweaty. I imagine how this how the Nixon Kennedy debate looked. One candidate looking confident and self assured and the other candidate sweating himself into a puddle.
I’m still waiting for Mitt to articulate a position clearly different than the president’s positions. Obama kept trying to point out differences and Romney keeps pointing out where they agree. If Mitt was trying to look presidential and run out the clock on this election I’m confused by that strategy. The election is too close and he essentially passed up a chance to make a strong case for himself. Spending half the debate pointing out how right the president has been isn’t really a winning approach.
That debate felt like it went by quickly. Now the families are out to shake hands. I can’t tell if super thug Tagg Romney was onstage tonight (those Romney boys are indistinguishable from each other). I hope the Secret Service was watching him closely.
These pointless post debate post game shows from CNN are silly. Partisan pundits basic all jump at whatever they can to booster their candidate. They don’t analyze the debate at all they just throw out practiced talking points. Every time you hear somebody say, “he passed the commander in chief test” you know that person’s candidate lost the debate. Watching CNN is a mostly painfully bland experience. CNN seems like they want you to watch them because they combine everything bad about MSNBC and Fox News wrapped in a bow of distracting technogical terrors.
Well there you have it folks. The last debate in a year of 1,000 debates. Hopefully we’ll never have a year with another set of debates like this year. Lots of people yelling at each other and doing their best to hide their true intentions. It was mostly funny but at times it turned sad because most of the candidates focused on themselves and the small slice of the population they represent. The greater good was almost universally ignored and we suffered for it.